This Tuesday evening City Council will hear a request from Metro to allow construction (specifically station pilings) to continue throughout the holiday period, prior to Thanksgiving and extending through New Years Day. The issue is whether to require Metro to adhere to the schedule already formalized in a memorandum of understanding with the city, or to grant a waiver to allow that work to continue — and if so under what conditions. Will you be affected? Contact the city!
As we discuss in our post, Metro Comes to Town: Tenants Will Feel the Impacts Now and Forever, the long-term impact to our community from a Purple Line station located in a quiet residential area can’t be known now but it is sure to be very significant. Residents will be displaced, relatively-affordable rental housing will come down, and the character of our community will change.
In the meantime we live with the impact today. Wilshire/Rodeo station construction has disrupted traffic and added noise at all hours especially for residents immediately proximate to the future south portal station (located at Reeves and Wilshire but nowhere near Rodeo of course). Those who rent housing on Reeves, Canon and Crescent are already paying a price.
Should construction break for the Thanksgiving to New Years period and then commence thereafter, as is already formalized in a memorandum of understanding with the city, or should it continue though the holiday period perhaps with some conditions? Read the holiday waiver request staff report for an overview of the issues or find the full staff report with attachments at the city’s website.
While impacts from the Metro station construction project on traffic and quality of life have already been assessed — and mitigations proposed and agreed by Metro — the agency’s request to accelerate construction by working though the holiday period opens a new discussion which will commence at Tuesday’s City Council evening meeting. (Read the agenda.)
The city has to balance an interest with preserving a welcoming atmosphere for our all-important holiday season (into which millions is invested to make our city look festive and be attractive to visitors) with our interest to wrap up a years-long project and the sooner the better. Businesses generally are supportive of continuing work though the holidays with some conditions.
- The question before City Council doesn’t concern additional impacts from construction as much as the timing of those impacts. Staff has proposed some conditions which can be imposed on Metro if the city agrees to the holiday work. These include:Limiting piling (sinking of steel beams) to 8am to 8pm with all activities ceased by 10pm;
- Starting later (9 a.m.) on weekends;
- Keeping all travel lanes open; and most important,
- Prohibiting any work on November 28th & 29th, December 24th & 25th, and December 31st & January 1st.
The city can ask for the sky because Metro really wants to get on with this work. As ace community activist Steve Mayer (let’s call him ‘Mr. Metro’) has reminded City Council, the schedule for the piling work has repeatedly slipped. Piling, he notes, was to be completed last year. Then a revised schedule put it at summer of this year.
Now Metro is saying that without a holiday waiver the piling work will continue until July of next year. Mayer urges our city to apply maximum leverage by not agreeing to the waiver with the expectation that Metro will commit to working faster and more efficiently should the city agree. (Mr. Mayer’s consistently keen eye on Metro suggests maybe one day we should be calling him ‘Mr. Mayor’!)
Do you have a feeling about Metro work continuing through the holiday period? Get in touch with City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Robert Welch, the city’s Metro project manager, by email at email@example.com. Do have a look at the staff report first!